Open main menu

Alfred C. Stepan (July 22, 1936 – September 27, 2017) was a comparative political scientist and Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government at Columbia University, where he was also director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration and Religion. He died on 27 September 2017 at the age of 81 [1]

Stepan was graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in 1958. He gained his PhD from Columbia University in 1969 and subsequently taught at Yale University, before being appointed Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia in 1983. He became the first Rector of Central European University in 1993, and in 1996 was appointed Gladstone Professor of Government at All Souls College, Oxford University. He returned to Columbia University in 1999.[1] He has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1991 and a member of the British Academy since 1997.[1] According to the editors of a collection of essays published in honour of Stepan, he is one of the few academics to be a member of both national social science academies.[2] Stepan is a member of the National Endowment for Democracy's International Forum for Democratic Studies Research Council.[3]

He has authored and edited a number of books, including Arguing Comparative Politics (Oxford University Press, 2001), Democracy in Multinational Societies: India and Other Polities (co-authored with Juan Linz and Yogendra Yadav; Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post Communist Europe, (with Juan Linz; Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996) and Democracies in Danger (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).[1]

In 2002, Stepan was awarded the Order of Rio Branco by the Brazilian government. He has also been awarded the Kalman Silvert Award for his lifetime contribution to Latin American studies. In 2007, he was included on a list of the 400 most highly cited US-based political scientists.[2] In 2012, he was awarded the Karl Deutsch Award by the International Political Science Association. The award is intended "to honour a prominent scholar engaged in the cross-disciplinary research of which Karl Deutsch was a master".[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Alfred C. Stepan". Columbia University. Retrieved 17 May 2008.
  2. ^ a b Chalmers, Douglas; Mainwaring, Scott, eds. (2012). "Preface and Acknowledgements". Problems Confronting Contemporary Democracies: Essays in Honor of Alfred Stepan (PDF). Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. pp. ix–xii.
  3. ^ "Alfred Stepan". Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Awards - Karl Deutsch Award". International Political Science Association. Retrieved 20 November 2015.

External linksEdit